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IoT connected devices to reach 38.5 billion by 2020, says Juniper

Steve Rogerson
July 31, 2015
The number of IoT connected devices will hit 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015, a rise of over 285 per cent, according to data from Juniper Research.
While IoT smart-home based applications grab media headlines, it is the industrial and public services sector – such as retail, agriculture, smart buildings and smart grid applications – that will form the majority of the device base. This is due to a much stronger business case for these types of applications.
Michelin and John Deere, for example, have successfully transitioned their businesses towards being service based companies through the use of IoT, as opposed to their previous incarnations as product vendors.
The research found that while the number of connected devices is already more than double the number of humans on the planet, for most enterprises, simply connecting their systems and devices remains the first priority.
“We’re still at an early stage for IoT,”said research author Steffen Sorrell. “Knowing what information to gather, and how to integrate that into back office systems remains a huge challenge.”
Additionally, interoperability hurdles owing to conflicting standards continues to slow progress. Nevertheless, there are signs that standards bodies and alliances are beginning to engage to overcome these hurdles.
According to the report, the IoT “represents the combination of devices and software systems, connected via the internet, that produce, receive and analyse data. These systems must have the aim of transcending traditional siloed ecosystems of electronic information in order to improve quality of life, efficiency, create value and reduce cost.”
The research notes that the IoT therefore is as effective as the sum of its parts. Mere connections create data; however, these do not become information until they are gathered, analysed and understood. The analytics back-end systems of the IoT will therefore form the backbone of its long-term success
The consumer segment – composed of the smart home, connected vehicles and digital healthcare – represents a high ARPU (average revenue per user) market segment. Meanwhile, the industrial sector – retail, connected buildings and agriculture – will enable high RoI (return on investment) through IoT projects, owing to more efficient business processes.